Choosing a School

You’ve decided boarding school may be the best option for your child’s education. Now it’s time to find a school that meets the needs of your family. Determine when your child is ready to attend boarding school, learn why students can benefit from a single-sex education, and get tips on finding data and comparing schools. Discover the benefits of education consultants, explore Quaker schools, and find get expert advice on making an informed decision.
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Updated December 12, 2016 |
Readers' Questions
Readers send dozens of questions via Facebook, Twitter and email. What do they ask? Readers want to know which is the best school in a particular country or region. A close second is figuring out how to pay for a private school education. Here are some readers' questions with my answers.

Over the years I have been asked hundreds of questions about boarding schools. What I find fascinating is that most of the questions are variations on the same question, namely,  "Which is the best school in...?" Readers understandably want to know which is the best school for their child. As they soon realize, there is no easy answer to their question. It is similar to finding an apartment or a house. You have to describe what it is that you are looking for. The second most common question I am asked is about scholarships. Paying for a boarding school education is a major concern for most parents. They need to know their options. So, against that backdrop, let's look at a couple of these inquiries together with my answers.

The question: "Hi there would u please suggest me best boarding school in Jakarta??"
My answer: "I am not familiar with private schools in Indonesia. I suggest that you ask the head teacher at a local school for guidance."

A quick Google search seemed to indicate that there are no western-style boarding schools in Indonesia.  In any case, I am not familiar with private schools in that part of the world. The other point I would have made if the reader had asked about schools in the U.S. or Canada, is that the best school is always the school which fits your requirements best. That does not necessarily mean that the school you choose is better than any other. It

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Updated November 09, 2016 |
Schools in the NEPSAC Founders League
The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942. It has grown from eleven schools to over one hundred sixty schools. More about NEPSAC and private school sports here.

The New England Preparatory School Athletic Council was founded in 1942 as an informal association of prep school athletic directors in New England. What is very gratifying to see after over 70 years is the growth of the organization from the original eleven schools to a membership currently in the 160 range. That growth is proof of the importance which private schools attach to their athletic programs. 

As I have stated many times, sports programs are not an optional extra in private schools. Sports programs are integrated fully into the education of young people in private schools which take the saying of the first century Roman poet Juvenal seriously. "Mens sana in corpore sano" which means a healthy mind in a healthy body. Private schools adopted this approach from the beginning. As a result, you won't find many private schools where sports are not compulsory. Sports are an integral component of most private school programs. Most schools set aside a weekday afternoon when the entire school engages in a variety of athletic activities. As you scan private school websites, explore the athletic offerings. One of them is sure to appeal to your youngster. Moreover, as she settles into her new school, you will soon discover that she is trying out several different sports, including some which you never thought she would try. The final point which I must make about private school sports is that they teach young people to integrate exercise into their daily lives. And that is a

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Published July 08, 2016 |
Education in the UK vs U.S.
A comprehensive overview of the difference between boarding schools in the US vs. UK.
Photo courtesy of EF Academy

The education systems in the U.S. and UK are ranked among the best in the world. With an emphasis on employing highly qualified teachers, providing students with opportunities for success inside and outside of the classroom and offering tailored support, the academic experiences offered at boarding schools in the U.S. and UK have their fair share of similarities, but they also have differences that ultimately distinguish the education on each side of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

1. Academics

In the UK, students often follow the A-Level academic program in their last two years of secondary school. This program culminates in internationally recognized qualifications, which means that it’s possible for A-Level students to apply to and attend university in the U.S. or other countries. But A-Levels are the standard pathway for entry to university in the UK. With the A-Level program, a student will focus on just three or four subjects that are related to what they would like to study at university, and then they apply to a specific field or program in line with their A-Level studies. In the U.S., students can follow the well-known IB or AP programs, but in addition to those qualifications, they can also receive a high school diploma. To earn a high school diploma, a student in the U.S. will have to meet the academic requirements set by a state’s department of education. These requirements include all subjects – math, science, humanities, English and arts, as well as additional electives. This means students gain exposure to

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Updated July 06, 2016
Why Choose a Boarding School in Florida?
Explore 13 great reasons to benefit from choosing a boarding school in sunny Florida.
Photo Courtesy of Admiral Farragut Academy
There are many benefits as to why students should attend boarding school, but what does Florida offer that other locations cannot? Well, if you’ve ever been to Florida you may be able to answer that question rather quickly. Here we list 13 reasons that may have you convinced to choose a boarding school in Florida.
 

In 2015, Florida became the first state ever to welcome more than 100 million out-of-state and international tourists. In addition, more people moved to Florida than California for the first time in nearly a decade. There’s good reason, too. The weather. The year-round outdoor activities. The cost of living. The job growth and opportunities. The sporting events. The cultural arts. The music festivals. The ever-improving infrastructure.

Not only is Florida a great state to visit and live, it’s an incredible place to learn. With 10 college-prep and boarding schools in Florida, the state offers a nice mix to choose from. But why is attending boarding school in Florida better than anywhere else? Here are just a few reasons:

The Weather
 

Sunny and Tropical

Nicknamed the “Sunshine State,” Florida boasts an average of 361 days of sunshine a year. Did you know St. Petersburg holds a Guinness Book World Record with 768 consecutive sunny days? St. Petersburg is just one of many places in Florida where sunshine reigns supreme. giving students an opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities all year long.

No Snow

There are just 20 states that average less than 15 inches a snow each year. Florida

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Updated July 05, 2016 |
Advice for Athletes Applying to Independent Boarding Schools
Tips for athletes applying to boarding school.

You are considering attending an independent private boarding school as a student athlete. Perhaps you’ve even been encouraged to apply to one or more schools because of your athletic ability. While your family and the admission staff at the schools will help you through the process of applying, remember that you still have your work cut out for you.

You must complete the steps required of all applicants in a timely manner. You should express genuine interest in the school’s athletic program. And most importantly, it is your job to learn as much as you can about each school to be sure that it would be a good fit for you, not only in terms of athletics, but overall. Here are some tips for you and your family as you apply to independent schools and consider your options.

The Admissions Timeline

Ideally, you’ll begin researching and visiting schools in the fall, or about a year before you plan to enroll. While applications are most commonly due in January, it takes time before then to have completed any standardized tests and submitted any required transcripts and recommendations. (See more below.)

Make sure you and your family have in hand all the information you need to meet all application requirements of every school in which you are interested. Pay careful attention to deadlines for applications for admission and financial aid: they vary from school to school.

Even if you’ve been recruited or had contact with a school’s coach, it is the admission office you will work

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Recent Articles
Spotlight on Sports
February 03, 2017
Explore the incredible variety of athletics which schools offer. Athletics are not optional in boarding school. Athletics are one part of a comprehensive program most schools adopt to educate the whole child in mind, body and spirit.
What About Schools With Riding Programs?
February 03, 2017
Does your son or daughter ride? Are you thinking about finding a private school which will suit both your academic requirements and your child's penchant for riding? Let's look at a couple of schools with riding programs.
To Harkness or Not To Harkness
February 03, 2017
Whether a school uses the Harkness Table™ or doesn't use the Harkness Table™ is a matter of teaching style worth exploring in some detail.
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Choosing a School

Getting Started

This section covers the basics of choosing a boarding school. Learn more about educational consultants, explore the dos and don’ts of making the right choice, and learn why you should trust your instincts. When is the right time to attend boarding school? What is a post-graduate year? How can an educational consultant help? Here you’ll find the answers to these questions and more.

Narrowing Your List

You’ll find helpful tools and resources to aid in narrowing your list down to the best schools that meet your requirements. Determine the benefits of Quaker education, learn how girls benefit from single sex education and get 5 reasons to start your search early.

Evaluating Schools

Here we’ll provide you with information on evaluating boarding schools. From comparing schools to identifying language and sports programs, our articles will help you make an informed decision. Learn the best approach to compare schools, get tips on creating a spreadsheet, and determine where to find the data.